Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru are areas to the north of Kuala Lumpur's City Centre. They contain popular traditional shopping options as well as cheap authentic food and budget accommodation. The main artery of Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) and Chow Kit is none other than Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, or Jalan TAR, whilst Kampung Baru lies to the east.
Besides Jalan TAR, the district also is home to the colourful shopping street of Jalan Masjid India, which is chock-a-block with shops specialising in saris and other Indian apparel. Indeed, the area is sometimes called Little India, although several other parts of KL (notably Brickfields) compete for that title and these days there are at least as many Indonesians around.
The northern part of the district is called Chow Kit, known for bargain shopping and food. The famous Chow Kit Wet Market has never stopped being the favourite wet market of all. You'll also be able to see things which you'll never be able to find elsewhere in KL, like the full array of Malay traditional medicine. Located just off the Chow Kit Monorail stop, the Jalan Haji Hussein street market at night is similar to Chinatown's Petaling Street, offering fake goods and delicious local food.
The Tuanku Abdul Rahman end of Jalan Sultan Ismail has become KL's new hot nightspot. Nicknamed Heritage Row, restaurants and clubs are now breathing new life into the old dilapidated terrace houses of Jalan Doraisamy and Jalan Yap Ah Shak, just off Jalan Sultan Ismail.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru are easily accessible by public transport, so you will find travelling into this district quite easy.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman is accessible by several rail stations. To reach the southern end of Jalan TAR, Klang, Shah Alam, Batu Caves or even Ipoh and Seremban can opt for the Bank Negara Komuter station, which is linked to the Bandaraya LRT station by a pedestrian bridge crossing Jalan Kuching and the Gombak River.Masjid Jamek LRT station (Kelana Jaya or Ampang/Sri Petaling lines) is best suited if one is visiting Masjid Jamek, Dataran Merdeka or Jalan Masjid India. To directly access the middle portion of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (where most of the shops are located), it is best to alight at the Bandaraya LRT station. Alternately, visitors coming from
Medan Tuanku Monorail Station, Sultan Ismail and the PWTC LRT stations on the Ampang/Sri Petaling line are best for the northern sector of TAR as well as the far southern part of Chow Kit.
The central Chow Kit area is best accessed by theChow Kit KL Monorail station. Another option is the Ampang/Sri Petaling LRT line stopping at PWTC station, a 5-10 minute walk to the centre of Chow Kit. For Kampung Baru the best option it to take the Kelana Jaya LRT to none other than Kampung Baru station, or walk from Chow Kit Monorail station.
Interestingly, despite its extremely philistine atmosphere, the northern part of Kuala Lumpur is home to some of the city's main cultural establishments. The area just north of Jalan Tun Razak has been designated by the government as KL's performing arts zone.
- 1 Istana Budaya (National Theatre), Istana Budaya, Jalan Tun Razak, ☏ , (Box Office). Istana Budaya (meaning Palace of Culture) is home to the National Theatre and is equipped with cutting edge stage, sound and lighting equipment on par with the top theatres around the world. It host productions of both domestic and international origins. The building itself is a beautiful and a tourist attraction.
- 2 Balai Seni Visual Negara (National Visual Arts Gallery), 2 Jalan Temerloh, off Jalan Tun Razak (Just east of the National Theater), ☏ . 10AM - 6PM daily except some holidays (9AM - 5PM during Ramadan). To reach the National Theatre or the National Art Gallery by foot, take the LRT or Monorail to Titiwangsa station. You will see the strange blue roof of the Theatre from the station. You have to walk roughly east for about 10 minutes, including a dodgy underpass (and an overpass later if you don't cross to the north side in the underpass). Alternatively it's about 5 minutes by car from KLCC.. Exhibition of all kinds of art. Free.
- 3 Titiwangsa Lake Gardens (Taman Tasik Titiwangsa). Beautiful park with nice views to the city centre.
- 1 Stroll around Kampung Baru (Slightly difficult to reach on foot from downtown. Best to take LRT Kelana Jaya to Kampung Baru stop). One of the most fascinating neighbourhoods of the whole city. The contrast between the charme of this unspoilt Malay quarter and the city skypscrapers only a stones throw away is what makes this place so special. The city administration is planning to demolish the district for more highrisers. Go there as long as the place is around!
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is lined with established department stores, malls and shopping centres. Haggling is ok in most locations but for the best deals, head down the to the street stalls and markets.
- Bazaar Baru Chow Kit (Chow Kit Wet Market), 469-473 Jl Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Chow Kit Monorail Station). 9:00-17:00. Boasting the title as the largest wet market in Kuala Lumpur this market gives a glimpse of how ordinary Malaysians do their daily shopping. In addition to fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood you will also find stalls selling silks, fabrics, shoes and other nicknacks without the tourist price inflation. Food stalls are scattered throughout the markets too.
- Masjid India Bazaar, Along Jl Melayu, Jl Masjid India. Daily. A covered bazaar stretching out from LRT Masjid Jamek towards Little India, quite similar in feel to the more famous Jalan Petaling but not as large or crowded -- not necessarily a bad thing.
- Pasar Malam (Night Market), Along Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman. 17:00-22:00 Saturday. A long night market spanning the entire length of the 'lorong'. This Saturday night market is an experience whether you are looking for a bargain, local products, or just an authentic Malaysian market experience. Food stalls are scattered throughout the market and is a great experience outside the typical tourist scene.
Stores and mallsEdit
- 1 Campbell Complex. Great shopping centre to buy textiles. Site of the infamous Campbell Complex fire in 1976, regarded as Malaysia's own "Towering Inferno".
- 2 Plaza City One. 10:00 - 21:00. Textile and fashion stores congregate here. At the second floor above ground level there is a food court (see 'Eat' section below).
- 3 Semua House. Closes at 20:00. Located next to Plaza City One, here one can find fashion, cosmetics, perfume as well as jewellery. There is a Burger King store at the ground-level entrance. Food court located one floor below ground.
- 4 GS Gills, 9th Floor, Wisma Harwant, 106 Jalan Tuanku Adbul Rahman, ☏ . The top sporting goods distributes in Mayalsia, carrying all sorts of sporting equipment and attire.
- 5 Pertama Complex (Jalan TAR), 1222 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Opened in 1976 as Kuala Lumpur's third shopping mall, and still good for cheap shoes, leather ware and other knick-knacks.
- 6 Sogo Shopping Complex, 190 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, ☏ . 10AM- 9:30PM Daily. Probably the biggest department store you will ever see, with 10 floors of shopping, dining and entertainment. If you budget permits, you can shop here for everything from clothing to high-tech toys.
- 7 Sunway Putra Mall (The Mall (1987 - 2011)), No. 100, Jalan Putra (parallel to Jalan TAR, opp Putra WTC), ☏ , . 10:00 - 22:00.
- 8 Wisma Shen (Haniffa Department Store) (StarPoints Hotel), 149 Jalan Masjid India, ☏ . 10:20 - 21:00 (Mon-Fri); 10:20 - 21:15 (Sat & Sun). StarPoints Hotel occupies the upper floors of the building. On the ground level there is a Haniffa Department Store.
- 9 Quill City Mall, 1018, Jalan Sultan Ismail, ☏ . 10:00 - 22:00. The newest shopping mall in the vicinity and possibly downtown KL, it is about 3 to 5 minutes' walk from Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman itself. Features seven retail levels, eateries, a cinema and an AEON store. Connected to Medan Tuanku Monorail station by a bridge.
- 10 Lulu Hypermarket, Lot 159 Persiaran CapSquare Off Jalan Munshi Abdullah, ☏ . 09:00 - 23:00.
- 11 Busana Menara Mara (Mara Digital), Menara MARA, Lot C, 232, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, ☏ . State-owned commercial centre featuring Malay textile, fashion, arts and crafts stores. Level 3 is home to MARA Digital, dedicated to computers and IT equipment. Located just next to Pertama Complex, walking distance from Sogo and Bandaraya metro station.
Places to eat are scattered throughout the district, with stalls concentrated along Jalan Doraisamy near the Heritage Row and Jalan Raja Abdullah in Kampung Baru (for Malay food). Kampung Baru is a Malay food haven at affordable prices. Non-touristy & in traditional kampung setting. Over 100 stalls available. Most are open 24 hours. Chinese coffeeshops can be found along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and lanes off it, and Chow Kit; Indian in the Jalan Masjid India area; and upmarket restaurants on Heritage Row.
Sogo shopping complex contains a food court on Level 6.
- La Cuisine. 24h. food court offering a variety of local & western foods
- 1 Capital Cafe, 213, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, City Centre. Located just opposite Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman from the Sogo mall. Known to be one of the oldest cafes along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Founded in the 1940s, popular until now.
- 2 RA Nasi Lemak, 15, Jalan Raja Abdullah, Kampung Baru. 06:30 - 15:00 (Mon-Fri); 06:30 - 12:00 (Sat/Sun). Serving up the Malaysian breakfast favourite, Nasi Lemak, and a range of drinks including Teh Tarik. A plate of rice is given to you then you add whatever you like on a self-serve basis. Located just at the western exit of Dang Wangi metro station.
- 3 Yut Kee Restaurant, 1, Jalan Kamunting, Medan Tuanku. 07:30 - 15:00. A true KL establishment, this Chinese coffeeshop is famous for its Hainanese-style chicken chop and roti babi, pork sandwich. Located near Quill City Mall and Wilayah Kompleks, it recently relocated to a larger building behind its former site.
- 4 Plaza City One Food Court, Level 2, Jalan Bunus 6, City Centre. 09:00 to about 17:00. Check out the food court on Level 2 of Plaza City One for its Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisine. Recommended: Hanif Mughal Food (stall 5), Nasi Arab (stall 3) and Punjabi Vegetarian Food (stall 8). RM 10 - 20.
- 5 Kudu bin Abdul Nasi Kandar, 335, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Medan Tuanku. 07:30 - 20:30 (Mon-Thu), 07:30 - 12:45 and 14:00 - 20:30 (Fri). Famous Nasi Kandar restaurant near the junction with Jalan Sultan Ismail. The late Malaysian artist P. Ramlee was reportedly a fan - his former film studio was located across the street. Walking distance from Sultan Ismail metro station, opposite Tune Hotel and near Maju Junction.
- Coliseum Cafe and Bar, 98 Jln. Tuanku Abdul Rahman. A KL legend, this colonial-style hangout hasn't changed its appearance or staff in over 90 years. Service is surly and the tablecloths could use a good wash, but their Western food, particularly the "sizzling" steaks on a hot plate (from RM35), is still one of the best deals in town. Also try a freshly mixed shandy (beer and lemonade, RM8) in the adjacent smoky bar.
Nightlife in this district is either of the partying variety at Heritage Row, as Jalan Doraisamy is now popularly known as, or the "hanging out at the Mamak stall" kind. As for the latter, Mamak stalls (stalls or food shops run by Indian Muslims) can be found everywhere but the most popular is actually just next to Heritage Row, nearer the intersection between Jalan Doraisamy and Jalan Dang Wangi.
Clubs and barsEdit
Tuanku Abdul Rahman/Chow Kit area is now The place to find budget accommodations offering very competitive prices as many have been built here to avoid the congested Chinatown 1km south.
- City Park Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 46, Lorong Haji Hussein Satu (off Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz). has 128 rooms, some smoking, some non-smoking. Rates from RM110 for standard room.
- Hotel Putra Muda, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz. Rates from RM80 for double occupancy. Just 1 min walk from Monorail stn.
- Hotel Sahara, just opposite Monorail - Chow Kit stn. Room rates start from RM80.
- Swiss Hotel, 12 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, ☏ . Not affiliated with Swissôtel, so do not expect the same level of service. Swiss Hotel offers deluxe, superior and family rooms with cable TV, private toilet and bath. Its facilities and services include luggage storage, currency exchange, 24-hour front desk and fax/photocopying. RM90+.
- Tune Hotel, 316 Jl Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Near Medan Tuanku Monorail Station). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. A no-frills hotel that is affiliated with AirAsia. Basic rooms with top quality beds, ensuite and fan can start as low as RM10 if booked during sales. Walk-in rates around RM90. A 7-Eleven, coffee shop and a food outlet are on ground level. Complementary 30 min internet at the lobby, ask the desk for a login password. RM30-RM70+.
- Anum Hotel, Jalan Putra. Opened 2010. Rates from RM100.
- [dead link] Brisdale Hotel, 65, Jalan Haji Hussein (off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman), ☏ . Three-star hotel in Chow Kit. From RM120.
- Citin Hotel Masjid Jamek, No. 7, Seksyen 33 (corner of Jalan Melayu/Jalan Masjid India), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 12.00noon. Opened October 2009 smack dab in the middle of the bazaar, offers small but surprisingly slick, quiet and sparkling clean rooms. Aircon, ensuite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Great little cafe serving local and your usual selection of western/international dishes. From RM115.
- Citrus Hotel, 51 Jalan Tiong Nam, Off Jalan Raja Laut (walking distance to Sultain Ismail LRT Station), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Chic, contemporary and with its splashes of greens and oranges, very cheerful. Rooms are comfortable and for those seeking a little more privacy with a few more privileges the Club Floor is a great alternative fitted with a 32" LCD flat screen TV, unlimited free WiFi, use of the Club Lounge and more. Facilities include a cafe, room service, swimming pool, gym and banquet rooms. Rates are from MYR 149 depending on time of year.
- City Villa Hotel, Jalan Haji Hussein, off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. 3-star hotel in Chow Kit. Close to the nightly food market. Rooms from RM110.
- [dead link] First Business Inn, 72 Jalan Dato Haji Eusoff (off Jalan Ipoh, Damai Complex), ☏ . It offers air-conditioned accommodations, all of which have a private toilet and bath, cable TV, and telephone. Some of its amenities are high-speed Internet access, laundry/dry cleaning, and a restaurant that serves local and western dishes. Best rates on official website start at MYR 104.40.
- [dead link] Kuala Lumpur International Hotel, Lorong Haji Hussein (off Jalan Raja Muda Abd Aziz), ☏ . Spacious accommodation, all equipped with air condition, cable television, phone with voicemail system. Facilities and services are function rooms, business centre and Wi-Fi Internet accessbbvttyyhngnbg From MYR 170.00.
- Leo Palace Hotel, Jalan Ramat (off Jalan Ipoh), ☏ . Slightly above average budget hotel, 5 min walk to monorail/Putra WTC. Rooms from RM123.
- [dead link] LEOPacific Hotel City Centre (formerly Quality Hotel), Jalan Raja Laut, ☏ .
- Wira Hotel, 123 Jalan Thamboosamy, ☏ . Rates from RM110 for a standard room.
- 1 Sheraton Imperial, Jalan Sultan Ismail (Beside Asian Heritage Row), ☏ . Opposite the Quill City Mall. Rooms have plasma TV, butler service, walk in closet. Previously a Luxury collection hotel, and the rooms reflect this- nice marble baths with separate shower, great health club. Restaurants ranging from western to eastern. The hotel also provides shuttle service to KLCC and KL Sentral. May be slightly off the tourist belt but the monorail station is just outside the hotel.
- 2 Silka Maytower, 7, Jalan Munshi Abdullah (Right next door to Plaza City One.). Consists of hotel suites and serviced apartments. Facilities provided: gym, pool, car park. La Maison restaurant located at the lobby.
- 3 Twin Tower View, Bistari Condominium (Close to PWTC (Putra World Trade Centre)). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12 noon. 2-bedroom apartment in a condominium opposite PWTC train station. View across KL city centre. A/C, ceiling fans, Wi-Fi, swimming pool. US$110 per night.
- 4 Stripes Hotel, 25, Jalan Kamunting, ☏ . Near Quill City Mall and Medan Tuanku Monorail station. RM 300++.
Chow Kit used to have a bad reputation among locals. Back in the 80s, prostitution used to plague the area; however, one can hardly see this anymore except for some ladyboys offering themselves on the streets. Chow Kit is no longer the dangerous place it used to be & now set to be the next commercial and shopping area of Kuala Lumpur.
The Dang Wangi police station is located at the intersection of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Dang Wangi.